How to Create the Perfect Cold Email

Growing and running a creative small business can mean sending and receiving cold emails from time to time.

If you’ve ever been on the receiving end of a cold email you know that it really needs to hit home on a few different points for you to even consider responding back.

And if you’re the one sending the email, you’re probably anxiously holding your breath as you hit the send button in hopes of a response.

Whether you are hoping to collaborate with another creative, looking to get your foot in the door for a potential partnership or even want to work with someone you admire, getting a response can be tricky.

Over the years, I’ve seen my fair share of cold emails land in my inbox. And, from my years in corporate marketing, sitting on nonprofit boards, and even before I realized the start of my journey to being a creative entrepreneur – I have also sent my fair share of cold emails.

So, how do you up your chances of getting a response when you send a cold email to someone?

To help me break this down, I’ve got my amazing friend, Megan from Megan Martin Creative sharing her thoughts on a cold email I sent her back in 2014!

Learn how to craft the perfect cold email to get a response and grow your creative business.

Before we dive into how you should compose a cold email, let’s take a look at the one I sent Megan.


Hi Megan,

First I would like to say, I’ve watched your website and brand go from A White Veiled Occasion to Megan Martin brand and it looks great! From what I’ve seen you’ve done an excellent job growing your business and making a name for yourself and I am glad to hear you are looking for an addition to the team. My name is Sianne Chong and my love for event planning, marketing and graphic design may be just what you are looking for. I have experience in all three and have put it to use the past four years as I have planned, designed and marketed the The Players Championship tournament as a customer appreciation event at my previous company. Along with this major event each year, I have experience in planning and managing other events, like a grand re-opening, internal company events as well as company holiday parties.

I’d love to chat more to learn more about your business, your needs and how this may be a good fit. My resume is attached for your review, I look forward to hearing from you soon.


FROM MEGAN’S PERSPECTIVE: Like Sianne, I get a TON of cold request emails in my inbox. People looking to post on my blog. People looking for a job. And people looking to collaborate in some way. When Sianne first sent me this email below, I was still planning weddings while the branding and design branch of my business started to take off. I needed help.

Truth be told, I had yet to see ONE cold email worthy of a response. I created a quick generic canned response for all the cold requests that kindly shared that we weren’t a good fit and used that for as many replies that I could. That might sound well… cold, but I can’t personally respond to every single email that lands in my inbox. (You can thank Tim Ferris for that!) Email is a great space to connect with customers and your audience, but if I sat in my inbox all day I would never actually get stuff done!

But then Sianne came along. I had just publicly announced that I was looking for help when her email slid into my inbox.

The first thing that stood out to me was the subject line: Megan Martin Hiring – Sianne Chong Resume. Nothing too awe inspiring, but it made me click. If you have connected with me or know my brand at all, you probably know that I am a pretty laid back and fun loving kinda gal. But that doesn’t mean I don’t take my business seriously. Sianne’s subject line was polished and professional which immediately clued me into the fact that she just might be a person applying that would take the job seriously. I have a lot of fun in my job and business, but when hiring, it is about business first!

Then I read her email and for the first time, I responded to tell her I’d love to meet in person. A complete stranger. Something about her email just worked. It drew me in and compelled me to say yes!

Let’s break it down, shall we?!

Sianne is sharing her insight into how to craft the perfect email and I’ll follow up with why it works!


Make it Personal

The first part of the email was all about getting personal. Before even introducing myself, I was quick to acknowledge that I was familiar with Megan and her brand. I wanted to let Megan know that I’ve been following along for a while and that I wasn’t just a random person who knew nothing about her and her business.

WHY IT WORKED FOR MEGAN: This advice is golden. Many cold emails that hit my inbox highlight how they “just found me.” And while I realize time may be of the essence in a particular circumstance or you can instantly feel connected with someone, just finding me doesn’t really feel like you actually know what I’m about or the heart behind my business. Before you cold email someone, take the time like Sianne did to actually dig into the brand and business you are looking to pitch. Beyond just reading a blog post and popping that in a canned pitch email as an anecdote. When I met Sianne in person to get to know her, it was clear that she truly had gotten to know me and my brand before she showed up and I appreciated it so much!

Identify a Connection Point

At this point in the email, I introduced who I am and our shared love for event planning, marketing, and graphic design. I even took it a step further and mentioned that my experience in this field may be just what she is looking for.

WHY IT WORKED FOR MEGAN: While it may seem a little forward, I liked Sianne’s tenacity in saying that her wealth of experience could benefit me. Again, this is business. If you’re going to show up in a business owner’s inbox, it will serve you well to show that you are capable of doing what you’re pitching. For example, when I get cold emails in my inbox pitching to guest post on my blog, the writer often doesn’t even tell me anything about themselves or their experience. It essentially gives me no reason to trust them! Don’t be afraid to point out why you are qualified for the ask. We want to know it!

Get Straight to the Point

The overall length of the email is fairly short and sweet. I wanted to make sure that I conveyed what I needed to, but didn’t take up too much of her time. As a recipient of cold emails, I’ve received one-liners with nothing more than a “Hi – are you hiring?”. While that certainly gets to the point, that one-liner doesn’t build credibility, connection, or show that the person was very vested in building this relationship.

WHY IT WORKED FOR MEGAN: Amen! But seriously, this shows how Sianne took the time to be considerate of my inbox while also balancing giving me enough information to be intrigued and excited! It really was a great cold email!

Provide Credentials

Although I attached my resume to this email, I wanted to call out a few noteworthy items that showed off my credibility, making it easy to identify if she wanted to take the time to learn more about me.

Once again, I focused on getting straight to the point and keeping the email short and sweet. I didn’t need to list out all of my past experience, I just needed to highlight a few key experiences that showed off my credentials.

WHY IT WORKED FOR MEGAN So smart! Clearly, Sianne is a marketer 😉 And any good marketer knows that social proof is one of your best assets to make the sale. In this case, it even works well in a cold email. Not only did she claim to have experience, but sharing real examples of the experience she had with other businesses showed another layer of professionalism and seriousness in her pitch!

Be Timely

The timing of an email can make or break the potential for a response. While I had been wanting to reach out to Megan for a while to work with her, I ended up sending the email after she posted on Instagram that she was looking to add to her team. Waiting to send a cold email during a time when the floodgates can open (like announcing you are adding to your team) can have positives and negatives to it. The positive is that the person receiving the email is a little warmed up to the idea of the email. The negative is that you are now competing with a lot more people showing up in that person’s inbox.

Timing doesn’t always work out the way it did for me when I reached out to Megan, but it’s something to be mindful of!

Another common mistake to avoid is reaching out through DMs! I totally believe that you can build connections and relationships through Instagram, but if it’s a cold DM, you’re less likely to get a response. If you already have a relationship with someone and reach out, then that’s a different story.

WHY IT WORKED FOR MEGAN: It is tricky to nail down when you should send the pitch, but Sianne’s timing and the way she presented herself absolutely won me over. I can’t say how I would have received the cold email if I wasn’t hiring at the time, but I most likely still would have been intrigued to connect with her! Even if the timing isn’t right for the person you are hoping to get a yes from, an email like Sianne’s could lead to a yes when the time is right. As someone who has hired multiple people, I absolutely give precedence to applicants I already know or have industry peers that know them. It is just human nature to trust someone you already have a relationship with! But if you don’t know the person you are pitching at all, you should definitely follow Sianne’s lead because it worked! I gave her the job and have loved connecting with her over the years as a friend and industry even after our working relationship ended (on a good note!)!

If you’re looking to work with someone in a professional capacity send an email! Just remember to use these 5 tips!


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